Looking forward to Fall…?!?!

Often, as the Fall Semester approaches I try to put off, for as long as possible, any work related tasks as if to stave off the last moments of summer fun. This year, I decided to tackle the big jobs of prep (syllabus, schedule and dance events calendar) in advance, and not suffer the pangs of regret as I run to Kinko’s an hour before the start of my first Dance 6 class. In a review of my notes from last Spring, and the student comment sheets, I felt directed and focused – tweaking assignments, the order of videos to be shown, the point value of each aspect of the class – everything comes under scrutiny, to be jettisoned or retained, based on my own internal compass which guides my overall approach for each semester.

I’m happy to report that so far, classes are going well, and students seem eager and attentive, especially after our “Getting to Know You” icebreaker. Today, the Labor Day Holiday provides a deep breath before plunging into the bulk of the semester (our next break comes in just over two months!) so, here we go!

Our next topic in Dance 6 is “The Power of Dance”, and I believe the following story is an excellent example of how dance can be a powerful magnet for some youngsters in a bleak situation.
One of Brazil’s poorest neighborhoods brings hope to some of its little girls through ballet

Reading your comments about this article and other posts throughout the semester will be interesting and fun – another way for me to get to know you. I will also be posting news about upcoming classes/performances for the Field Work/Approved Dance Concert Requirement, and any other extra-credit opportunities. Week one of the Fall 2014 semester is now complete – on to the next fifteen!

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12 thoughts on “Looking forward to Fall…?!?!

  1. I’m looking forward to a great semester in your class being a dancer for 13 years I never even thought to take a class or even be interested in a class such like yours. The three days that I have entered into your class I have heard stuff that I know already and information that’s brand new I really enjoy being in this class what I thought it was going to be like turned out to be better. -DeJanae Dance 6 Tuesdays and Thursdays

  2. When I was a primary school student in China, I attended a dance class on weekends to learn how to dance and I took my first dance class in my life. After the class, the instructor told my mom that she should have taken me to the next door, the classroom for drawing, cause my movement was really really awful!!! I even couldn’t tell the left or right when I was dancing and that made me so embarrassing, so I quit my dance class then I turned to learn drawing…But I think every girl has a dance dream. For me, I admire those people who can dance freely on the stage. I know maybe I don’t have talent in dancing, but I still love arts and music. I think dance is a perfect form combined them together.Through your blog, I can see you are pretty nice and responsible. Actually, it’s hard for a international student to speak and talk about the dance with others, but I still can share my thoughts in writing with you. I really appreciate it.

  3. This article reminded me of my visit to Brasil in 2006. I have witnessed a lot of people in favelas struggling with poverty. Many children living in favelas did not have luxury to go to school, buy toys, or even feed themselves sometimes. It was devastating to see them begging for money on the street, at every single big intersection, but yet, I could not do anything for them knowing money would only be the temporary cure. As Yokoi mentioned in the article, I believe what they really need is hope although I do admit money is still necessary to live a good quality of life. Thankfully, there are so many ways to give hope to children. For Yokoi, it was dance. She showed it to children that life can be meaningful if you engage yourself in something you enjoy. For me, it was healthcare. I decided to be a nurse after my visit to Sao Paulo because I believe good health is the fundamental of human happiness, and we all deserve to be happy. I hope we all find our own ways to give hope or share happiness with those children. They are the future.

  4. I just wanted to start out by saying I loved the icebreaker and was happy to not just fill out the typical survey about us. I was worried to take a Dance appreciation class, but you have done a great job keeping us interested and awake.
    I am a strong believer that sports and extra curricular activities play a larger part of keeping children headed down the right path to success. This is a story that takes place outside of America, but is a concept that can and does help poorer neighborhoods in America today. If we as a community volunteer or support programs like this we can reduce the number of kids who later turn to crime. These girls have found a passion at a young age and hopefully they can focus their time to the world of dancing instead of the danger that surrounds them.

  5. I was really hesitant to take a dance class. But now that I am in your classroom, I am really excited to learn about dance, and to see performances. You seem like a great teacher, and your personality really makes the class fun. Looking forward to the rest of the semester!

  6. When I was a child, I was interested in dancing because of my mom, so my mom found a dance teacher for me in China, and I had a dance class every weekend. That is how I started to come into connect with dance. Because i had a lot of homework, so I suspended to study until I graduated from high school. I changed the style from folk dance to jazziness, but I felt it is to hard to follow as the teacher did. This experience is my third dance period in my life, I am so glad to have an excellent dance class to enjoy, for international students, we cannot make it easy even we try our best. However, I believe we can learn a lot be with you!!!!!!! NAIXIN ZHANG

  7. I enjoy watching the dance videos in your class sooooo much. I wanted to be a dancer when I was little, but since I was kind of fat, I gave it up. But still, I enjoy listening to music and “shaking” with the beats. I am looking forward to learn more from your class,.

  8. Before entering your Dance6 class, i did not consider dance being a huge movement. There is much history on where gestures, and body language came from. What i enjoy the most in the course, is when you share videos of various groups performing to unique music/instruments. I am slowly understanding the concepts of dance; thanks to you and YouTube. Also, as a wonderful professor you offer many chances for extra credit, so that results is a plus.
    I skimmed through the article above and the main idea was very touching. The thought of little girls being raised by drug dealers is very bothering. The guidance Machado is offering can change every bit of the girls’ lives. “House Of Dreams”, suites the name of the studio perfectly.

  9. I am really looking forward to the rest of this semester. Dance isn’t a subject that i payed too much attention to, but after these past 2 weeks it has definitely changed my view to something real fascinating about dance. I thought this class was going to mainly deal with readings from the book, however that is not the case here and I really enjoy your teaching style for this subject. I am sure there is much more to learn from your class.

  10. So far this class has been very fun and has kept my attention. I didn’t know what dance appreciation would consist of, but so for it has been very informative. I love watching the short clips in class and having to write about them. It has opened my eyes to different cultures and different dances that are around the world. I am looking forward to what the rest of the class has to hold.
    Heather Huereque
    Mon/Wed class

  11. I know I have already commented this article before, but I still want to say something here.
    I can still remember the mood I commented last time, I was not confident and depressed for dance. However, the half semester passed, and I have idea for dance! My grades are higher and higher, and I like to go to class more and more. I feel interesting in class rather than I have to take the class. I enjoy it, thank you Rita for giving my hope for dance. I will do a better job in the other half semester.
    NAIXIN ZHANG

  12. Time flies! it has just one week left for this semester. I want to say, i really like this joyful class. we watched the dances and videos during the classes, it makes the class more interesting. In some classes, we could learn some dance vocabularies and how to express those wonderful dance movements. it just have a whole week from now to the final test. i hope i can skip the test. but i know, i need to do my best on all works. i think i did and i will keep trying. hope everything keeps the right way““““ thank you, Rita!

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